Tegna-Standard General deal called off

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

The proposed sale of Tegna to Standard General has been called off after the deal faced regulatory issues.

Tegna management announced it would cancel the plan after word that the FCC would not approve the transaction. News of the impending collapse of the deal had been circulating prior to the announcement.

The deal was originally valued at $8.4 billion and was originally slated to go through in 2022.

However, closing continued to be delayed and in February 2023, the FCC announced plans for a hearing on the sale after it faced mounting criticism for its potential to further consolidate the media industry and potentially increasing costs for consumers and job cuts after the proposed sale.

In the past, this type of move by the FCC has frequently lead for deals to fall through.

Standard General, a hedge fund that previously attempted to acquire TV stations prior to the Tribune-Sinclair Broadcasting Group merger fell through, will need to pay Tegna $136 million in termination fees, according to the agreement it originally signed.

It’s not immediately clear if that amount will be paid, because it’s possible Tegna and Standard General could negotiate different terms.

It’s also not clear what would happen to that fee if it were to be paid. Tegna has recently announced that it would be leveraging its cash position to buy back stock, though that had been paused. It also announced a dividend payout to shareholders.